Calypso Chicken

The most incredible Calypso Chicken is creamy and punchy with tropical flavour. Crisply spiced chicken thighs are braised in a delicious rum and coconut sauce, flavoured with cumin and garlic and simmered with sliced onions and green peppers. Serve with fried plantain for food heaven.

Calypso Chicken on a plate with fried plantains and salad on a wooden board

I discovered this recipe for Calypso Chicken buried within my Dad’s old Taste Magazines from the 1980s. These magazines hold such fascination for me. I pick them up every so often when I need a little bit of retro dinner inspiration.

Taste Magazines

I have been making a version of this Calypso Chicken for many years now, I originally found it nestled in a piece about Floella Benjamin’s Caribbean food heritage and it leapt out at me as soon as I read it. I have adapted it slightly from its original incarnation including upping the ante on some of the ingredients for maximum impact (ahem, the rum) but it is still an absolutely classic recipe which I urge you to make.

Calypso Chicken on a plate with fried plantains and salad on a wooden board

Why is Calypso Chicken so brilliant?

  • Using chicken thighs instead of breast means the meat is more juicy and flavourful.
  • Even though the sauce is so creamy it is also naturally dairy-free as it’s made from a blend of rum, really good chicken stock and creamed coconut.
  • Did I mention rum?? You will always want to add rum to every chicken braise from now on. It is an insanely delicious basis for a sauce.
  • Creamed Coconut is an ingredient which is more than often replaced in modern recipes with coconut cream (not the same thing) or coconut milk. Use creamed coconut here for a deliciously intense coconut flavour.
  • You need a few dashes of Angostura bitters. It’s spiced fruity flavour is such a revelation if you take it out of the comfort of the cocktail cabinet. I usually add it to my fruit pie fillings but it’s also a perfect match in this rum coconut sauce.

ingredients for Calypso Chicken on a wooden board

How do you make Calypso Chicken?

  1. Rub the chicken thighs with a spice blend of cumin, garlic, chilli and seasoning.chicken in a glass bowl rubbed with spices on a wooden board with bowls of rum and coconut next to it
  2. Sear the chicken skin side down in a wide bottomed pan until the skin is crispy.
  3. Remove the chicken and add sliced onions and green peppers into the pan.Sliced green peppers and onions in a cast iron skillet
  4. Heat the chicken stock then pour in the rum, coconut cream, angostura bitters and saffron and whisk until smooth.
  5. Pour the sauce in with the softened onions and peppers.
  6. Bring to a boil then turn down to a gentle bubble. Add the chicken back in, flesh side down and simmer for 40 minutes until the sauce has thickened and the chicken has fully cooked.Chicken in a cast iron skillet simmering in a calypso sauce
  7. Sprinkle over the green chillies and parsley to serve.

Rum and Coconut Chicken | Stroud Green Larder

Pro Tips

  • Use free-range chicken if you can for the best flavour and provenance. If you eat meat you want to know where it’s coming from.
  • Chicken thighs vary in size so I recommend using 1-2 per person.
  • Pat the chicken dry with kitchen towel before adding the spice mix. It will mean really crisp chicken skin and help the spices stick better to the chicken.
  • Make sure the olive oil is hot before adding the chicken so the meat doesn’t stick to the pan.
  • Use creamed coconut, not coconut cream or coconut milk. We want to add flavour not liquid. The creamed coconut is just the coconut solids.
  • And if you can, use homemade chicken stock or good shop bought. Preferably not a stock cube.
  • I recommend serving with crisply fried plantain and fresh green chillies sprinkled on top which sparks it off deliciously.

Rum and Coconut Chicken | Stroud Green Larder

Recommended Equipment

A really good cast iron skillet is ideal for meals like these. It cooks everything at an even temperature. I use it for most of my weeknight dinners.

This Calypso Chicken is perfect if you need to spice up your usual dinner routine. It’s a lovely meal for 2 but you can easily serve it to the whole family if you leave out the fresh chillies at the end. The alcohol in the rum burns off during the braise so it’s perfectly safe to serve to your littles.

More easy Chicken Dinners you might like:

The Best Gluten-Free Chicken Schnitzel
Lemon Honey and Sesame Chicken
Cashew Chicken Satay
Sticky Smoky Bourbon Chicken
Orange Ginger and Sesame Chicken

If you make Calypso Chicken then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own dinner creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

Calypso Chicken on a plate with fried plantains and salad on a wooden board
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Calypso Chicken

The most incredible Calypso Chicken is creamy and punchy with tropical flavour. Crisply spiced chicken thighs are braised in a delicious rum and coconut sauce, flavoured with cumin and garlic and simmered with sliced onions and green peppers. Serve with fried plantain for food heaven.
Prep Time8 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Caribbean
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 983kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken thighs boned
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1 green pepper de-seeded and sliced
  • 500 ml chicken stock
  • 50 g creamed coconut
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum
  • good dash of angostura bitters
  • pinch of saffron
  • 1 green chilli sliced
  • Handful of fresh parsley

Instructions

  • Mix the cumin, garlic powder, chilli powder and salt and pepper together then rub generously over the chicken thighs.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large casserole dish on the hob and as soon as it’s hot add the chicken, skin side down.
  • Fry the chicken for 10-12 minutes until the skin is crisp and golden. Then with a pair of tongs remove the chicken, set aside and add the onion and green pepper to the casserole dish.
  • Heat the stock in a small saucepan until boiling, then remove from the heat and add the creamed coconut, rum, angostura bitters and saffron until they are well mixed together.
  • Pour in the stock mixture as soon as the onion and green pepper has softened and are staring to colour, stirring in well.
  • Bring up to a gentle boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer. Add the chicken on top of the stock, flesh side down and simmer for 40 minutes until the sauce has reduced to thick and creamy.
  • Sprinkle with the green chilli and parsley.

Notes

Adapted from Taste magazine’s ‘Calypso Chicken’, March 1987
  • Use free-range chicken if you can for the best flavour and provenance. If you eat meat you want to know where it’s coming from.
  • The recipe states to use 2 boneless chicken thighs per person. However it totally depends on your size of chicken thighs. The ones we buy really vary in size. You are looking for 2 small to medium chicken thighs per person.
  • Pat the chicken dry with kitchen towel before adding the spice mix. It will mean really crisp chicken skin and help the spices stick better to the chicken.
  • Make sure the olive oil is hot before adding the chicken so the meat doesn’t stick to the pan.
  • Use creamed coconut, not coconut cream or coconut milk. We want to add flavour not liquid. The creamed coconut is just the coconut solids.
  • And if you can, use homemade chicken stock or good shop bought. Preferably not a stock cube.
  • I recommend serving with crisply fried plantain and fresh green chillies sprinkled on top which sparks it off deliciously.
  • If you want to serve to more than 2 then you can double the recipe. If you are serving for a family then you can leave out the fresh green chillies at the end. The alcohol in the rum burns off in the braise so don’t worry about serving to little ones.

Nutrition

Calories: 983kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 72g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Cholesterol: 229mg | Sodium: 1212mg | Potassium: 1084mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 545IU | Vitamin C: 55mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 4mg

This recipe was originally published in July 2014 but was republished in February 2020 to clarify the recipe method with new photos and more detailed instructions.

The Best Coronation Chicken

Coronation Chicken is incredibly versatile and a real crowd pleaser. Curried, roasted and shredded chicken thighs are dressed with a fragrant yoghurt and mayonnaise dressing and dried apricots. This version is fruity spicy and perfect for preparing ahead for a delicious salad or satisfying sandwich filling.

A bowl of Coronation Chicken Salad on a wooden board

Coronation Chicken is one of my favourite ways to get ahead in the kitchen. It may be retro but made correctly it’s an outstanding way to serve chicken.

During the summer I made huge batches of Coronation Chicken Salad for serving at picnics. This time of year though I stuff it into sandwiches or serve it heaped into a hotly buttered jacket potato.

It’s the perfect seasonal crossover dish, so versatile and is a recipe you absolutely need to have in your back pocket so you can return to it again and again.

A bowl of coronation chicken on a wooden board

What is Coronation Chicken?

The recipe for Coronation Chicken was developed in 1953 for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation by Rosemary Hume.

It is a cold dish, traditionally made with poached chicken dressed in a lightly curried mayonnaise with dried apricots.

These days Coronation Chicken can be considered a bit of a dated affair. However if you have ever been for a proper British afternoon tea you will no doubt have tasted it as part of your platter of finger sandwiches. If so, you simply must agree that Coronation Chicken deserves it’s place amongst the most regal of British culinary inventions.

Unfortunately, like Eccles Cakes or Flapjacks its ubiquity has led to some very poor mass market imitations. The Coronation Chicken you can buy pre-made as a sandwich filling in the supermarket is not the best example of this delicate recipe.

If you want the real deal you know what you have to do. Make it yourself. You won’t be sorry.

What makes this Coronation Chicken so brilliant?

  • Boneless chicken thighs are rubbed generously with fresh curry spices before roasting for more impactful flavour.
  • The chicken skin is left on. Those crispy bits are the jewels of the salad.
  • Mayonnaise is cut through with yoghurt for a lighter fresher dressing.
  • Those fresh curry spices and a squeeze of lime are also added to the dressing.
  • Almond butter is mixed in with the dressing for a rich almost satay like flavour.
  • Dried apricots are used here instead of the far too intrusive sultanas which ruins many commercial Coronation Chickens.
  • Dressing up the salad with fresh coriander, toasted flaked almonds and crunchy pumpkin and sesame seeds gives the Coronation Chicken amazing texture and flavour.

If you want more great chicken recipes then why not try…

The Best Gluten-Free Chicken Schnitzel
Honey Orange & White Wine Chicken Skewers
Lemon Honey and Sesame Chicken
Chicken and Leek Pie

How do you make Coronation Chicken?

  1. Make the curry paste by grinding the spices then mixing with the coconut oil.A pestle and mortar, filled with curry spices
  2. Rub the curry paste all over the chicken thighs and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and scatter over the sesame seeds. Roast for a final 15 minutes.curried chicken thighs in a roasting dish
  3. Cool then shred the chicken.
  4. Make the dressing by mixing mayonnaise, yoghurt, almond butter, lime juice and the rest of the curry spices.a bowl of coronation chicken salad dressing with curry spices scattered over
  5. Pour the dressing over the shredded chicken along with finely diced dried apricots and fresh red chilli.

A bowl of Coronation Chicken Salad

Expert Tips

  • For ultra refined curry spice mix try processing your spices in a spice grinder. They are often sold primarily as coffee grinders but coffee grinders and spice grinders are the same thing.
  • Dice the dried apricot super small for delicate fruitiness in every bite. I prefer it if the dried fruit isn’t too ‘in your face.’
  • Use very drippy almond butter, not the hardened dredge from the bottom of the jar.
  • If you are serving to children or people who don’t like a lot of heat then just omit the red chilli.

Can I use chicken breasts instead of thighs?

You can. But, I really recommend boneless chicken thighs. They are jucier and more flavourful. However, if you prefer chicken breasts then you will only need 4 breasts. I recommend cutting them in half widthways and only cooking for 20 minutes total time.

Can I use leftover shredded chicken?

Yes absolutely. Since your chicken won’t have been roasted in the curry spices then it won’t be as flavourful. I recommend adding 2 tablespoons of the curry spices into the dressing rather than the 1 tablespoon suggested in the recipe.

How to make Dairy-Free Coronation Chicken

There is only one simple switch to make this Coronation Chicken dairy-free. Just swap out regular natural yoghurt for coconut yoghurt. I actually love this switch and the slightly coconutty flavour it lends. Mayonnaise is usually dairy-free, especially if you are using homemade mayonnaise. However always check your labelling.

Expert Tip

Please note, there is a little bit more dressing than you might need. There is a reason for this. If you are serving the Coronation Chicken straight away you might need slightly less dressing. The longer the Coronation Chicken sits in the fridge the dressing tends to thicken. Just before serving I like to loosen with a little more dressing. If you are packing the Coronation Chicken for a picnic, take the extra dressing too, it usually always gets gobbled up.

How do you serve Coronation Chicken?

  • Sandwich filling
  • Heaped on a jacket potato
  • Piled on cut and toasted bread for an appetiser or canapés – see my recipe for Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread
  • Coronation Chicken salad

A bowl of Coronation Chicken Salad on a wooden board

How to make Coronation Chicken Salad

My favourite way to serve Coronation Chicken has to be with this Wild Rice Salad. It makes for a substantial supper, a brilliant offering for a potluck or a delicious picnic lunch. The full recipe is in the recipe card below.

  1. Cook and cool a mix of wild and basmati rice.A bowl of basmati and wild rice on a wooden board
  2. Toss salad leaves with spring onions and fresh coriander leaves.
  3. Serve alongside the Coronation Chicken and scatter with pumpkin seeds, toasted flaked almonds and sesame seeds.

For more delicious salad recipes why not try…

Roast Pork Belly Apple and Caramelised Walnut Salad
Simple Brown Rice Salad with Pesto Vinaigrette
English Mint Potato Salad
Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing

Can you freeze Coronation Chicken?

You can freeze the roasted and cooled chicken thighs ready for making Coronation Chicken at a later date. However, you can’t freeze the final finished dish.

How long can you keep Coronation Chicken in the fridge?

Up to 3 days.

If you make this Coronation Chicken or the Coronation Chicken Salad then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own culinary creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

The Best Coronation Chicken

Coronation Chicken is incredibly versatile and a real crowd pleaser. Curried, roasted and shredded chicken thighs are dressed with a fragrant yoghurt and mayonnaise dressing and dried apricots. This version is fruity spicy and perfect for preparing ahead for a delicious salad or satisfying sandwich filling.






Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Cooling Time30 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: British
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 498kcal

Ingredients

Coronation Chicken

  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • seeds from 3 cardamom pods
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 800 g boneless chicken thighs about 10 thighs
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 250 ml yoghurt natural dairy or natural coconut
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon curry spice mix
  • 8 dried apricots finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli seeds removed and finely sliced (optional)

Coronation Chicken Salad

  • 175 g basmati and wild rice mix
  • 420 ml water
  • 4 spring onions finely chopped
  • two large handfuls of mixed baby leaves
  • large handful of fresh coriander
  • 30 g flaked almonds toasted
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds black or white

Instructions

Coronation Chicken

  • Pre-heat the oven to 190°C
  • Make the curry paste by grinding together the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fennel seeds and cardamom seeds until fine using a spice grinder or a pestle and mortar.
  • Tip the spices into a large bowl and add the turmeric, ginger, garlic powder, salt and mix well.
  • Remove 1 tablespoon of the spices and set aside in a small bowl for later.
  • Stir the coconut oil into the rest of the spice mix until a thick paste has been formed.
  • Rub the paste all over the chicken thighs until they are evenly covered.
  • Place in the oven and roast for 15 minutes then remove from the oven and scatter over the sesame seeds.
  • Place back into the oven and roast for a further 15 minutes.
  • Remove and leave the chicken until cool enough to handle then shred the meat and crisp skin.
  • Place in a bowl whilst you prepare the dressing.
  • Whisk together the mayonnaise, yoghurt, lime juice and almond butter with the reserved tablespoon of the curry spice mix.
  • Pour two thirds of the dressing over the shredded chicken and add in the dried apricots and red chilli.
  • Stir well until the chicken is completely covered.
  • Keep in the fridge until ready to use.
  • Use more of the dressing to loosen the Coronation Chicken just before serving.

Coronation Chicken Salad

  • Place the rice in a large saucepan. Pour in the water and stir.
  • Turn the heat on and place the lid of the saucepan on. Bring to boil then turn down to a simmer for 20 minutes. Don’t remove the lid at all during cooking. The rice is ready when all the water has been absorbed and you can’t see any bubbling up beneath the cooking rice.
  • Turn off the heat and place a folded up clean tea towel between the saucepan and the lid. Leave the rice to sit for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and the tea towel and fluff the rice with a fork.
  • Leave the rice to cool before serving with the salad.
  • To prepare the salad toss the baby leaves, spring onions and coriander leaves together in a large bowl.
  • Serve the salad, rice and coronation chicken together on a large platter and scatter over the flaked almonds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds.

Notes

Chicken Breasts – you can use chicken breasts, I won’t judge, but I really recommend using chicken thighs for more flavour and juiciness.
Leftover Chicken – you can use leftover chicken instead of preparing it especially for this dish. It won’t be imbued with the same amount of flavour so you must add another tablespoon of curried spices to the dressing.
Chilli - If you are serving this to children or someone who dislikes heat you may want to leave out the red chilli.
Dried Apricots – cut extra fine so the dried fruit isn’t too overpowering.
Almond Butter – use really drippy almond butter, not the hardened dredge at the bottom of the jar.
Dressing – This recipe will make more dressing than you need. Finished Coronation Chicken will thicken in the fridge. Just before serving loosen it with some extra dressing.
Extra Dressing? – Don’t waste it, use it as a dip for crudités.
Dairy-free? Use coconut yoghurt instead of natural dairy yoghurt.
Alternative serving suggestions – If you don’t want to make the salad then the coronation chicken is delicious as a sandwich filling, heaped on a jacket potato or on cut and toasted French bread for a canapé.
Make Ahead – you can make the Coronation Chicken up to 3 days ahead of eating.
Store - keep refrigerated for up to 3 days
Salad Serving - I like to serve the salad so the leaves, rice and coronation chicken are not mixed together as it looks more attractive. Although you can mix it all up if you prefer.

Nutrition

Calories: 498kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 424mg | Potassium: 541mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 520IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 132mg | Iron: 3mg

Update Notes: This recipe was originally posted in 2016, but was updated in September 2019 with more clarification to the recipe as well as new photos, nutritional information and expert tips.

The Best Gluten-Free Chicken Schnitzel

The Best Gluten-Free Chicken Schnitzel is made with seasoned almond flour and is a 10 minute wonder meal.

overhead view of Plate of Gluten-Free Chicken Schnitzel with coleslaw and lemon

Chicken Schnitzel is definitely my favourite weeknight meal at the moment. I am having it every other night and I can’t see I will ever get tired of it. It’s crisp on the outside with the chicken perfectly juicy on the inside. This recipe is also super quick with limited ingredients and just happens to fit in nicely with the Whole30 which I’m currently in another round of. There are no breadcrumbs needed in this recipe as the almond flour crisps up deliciously in the pan without being too crunchy or nutty.

close up of Gluten-Free Chicken Schnitzel with coleslaw and lemon

Almond flour is my secret weapon in making the best gluten-free Chicken Schnitzel. It’s actually not that easy to get hold of though so do check if you’re ordering it online that it is actually the finely milled almond flour that you are buying. Quite often you’ll find ground almonds are packaged up as almond flour but that’s not what you’re looking for here. The almond flour you want is white, powdery and well, flour-like.

You will be using the almond flour exactly the same way you would if you were coating with regular flour. Your chicken is bashed gently out to an even thickness with a meat mallet, then dipped in beaten egg and then finally dredged through the seasoned almond flour. Season the flour well so that the crisp coating is ultra flavourful. The chicken is then pan-fried for three minutes each side and before you can google the correct spelling for schnitzel, dinner is done.

Plate of Gluten-Free Chicken Schnitzel with coleslaw and lemon

I love to serve the best gluten-free Chicken Schnitzel with a quick homemade coleslaw. I haven’t included an exact recipe below as you can use whatever veg you happen to have in the fridge to make it. I feel I have hit the jackpot though if I have carrots, red cabbage and fennel in. I just throw them into the food processor fixed with the grater attachment and mix the shredded veg with some mayo (I often don’t put onions in as they need to be sliced by hand and frankly I can’t be bothered). If I’m feeling really decadent I’ll sauté up some new potatoes but really that’s fancy-talk as the dish doesn’t need it. But whatever you do, don’t forget the squeeze of fresh lemon. It’s essential.

Plate of Gluten-Free Chicken Schnitzel with coleslaw and lemon

SHOP THE RECIPE

  • Almond Flour
  • Meat Tenderiser
  • Ghee
  • Cast iron skillet

If you like this post then you may like…

If you make the Best Gluten-Free Chicken Schnitzel then please leave a comment below and give the recipe a rating which helps others find the recipe on Google. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

The Best Gluten-Free Chicken Schnitzel

The Best Gluten-Free Chicken Schnitzel is made with seasoned almond flour and is a 10 minute wonder meal.
Prep Time4 mins
Cook Time6 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: British
Servings: 1 serving
Calories: 716kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 45 g almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon onion granules
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 chicken breast

Instructions

  • Melt the ghee in a large flat bottomed saucepan or cast iron pan and turn to a medium-low heat.
  • Whisk together the almond flour with the paprika, onion granules, garlic powder, mustard powder, salt and pepper and sprinkle evenly onto a plate.
  • Break the egg into a medium sized bowl and whisk lightly.
  • Batter the chicken breast gently to an even 1 inch thickness, then dip first into the egg, then once fully coated dredge through the almond flour so it’s coated well on both sides.
  • Carefully place the chicken into the pan and cook for 3 minutes each side until golden.
  • Remove the chicken from the pan, cut into even strips and serve with homemade coleslaw.

Notes

*you can use olive oil but I like the flavour of ghee the best.

Nutrition

Calories: 716kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 63g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 346mg | Sodium: 907mg | Potassium: 896mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 800IU | Vitamin C: 2.7mg | Calcium: 130mg | Iron: 3.5mg

Honey Orange & White Wine Chicken Skewers

These Honey Orange & White Wine Chicken Skewers are an easy addition to your summer grilling. The fruity sweet and salty marinade is practically drinkable and takes moments to prepare.

Honey Orange & White Wine Chicken Skewers on a plate with oranges, microherbs next to a bowl of marinade and a jar of honey

This recipe is quite close to my heart. It’s the very first recipe I collected. The first of many, garnered from friends and family, ripped out of magazines, printed off the internet and saved from cooking classes and food fairs which now fill the eight full-to-bursting lever-arch files that are piled up in the corner of my dining room. This recipe represents the very first time I ate something and thought it was so delicious I wanted to re-create it for myself.

Honey Orange & White Wine Chicken Skewers on a plate with oranges, micro herbs

I remember my first few forays in the kitchen as an adult, cooking for myself at university. I made theHungarian Chicken from my mother’s battered copy of Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course for my boyfriend at the time and surprised even myself at how easy it was. I had been cooking Sunday lunches, bolognaises, lasagnes and simple cakes at home for years, but no recipe was required as the cooking was ingrained from years spent in the kitchen with my parents. I had never before sought out a recipe and made it according to a stranger’s instructions until the Hungarian Chicken. This was food that was new and different, and I had made myself.

glass of wine on a wooden board next to a plate of food

It wasn’t long after this that I traipsed down to London for the weekend to see friends. We all knew each other from school, riding the train in from our various universities around the country and congregating together in London at one of our parents’ houses. It must have been a 21st birthday and we were having a barbecue. No doubt afterwards we would have fussed around with hair and make up, swigging back white wine before grabbing taxis into town for our night out.

However, before all that we were throwing sausages and supermarket burgers onto a barbecue which one of us was tending. Another was responsible for chopping the salad, another for portioning out the bread but the friend whose house we were at was very carefully following a scribbled down recipe for chicken kebabs. She was pouring gallons of wine, honey and orange juice and other bits and pieces into a huge mixing bowl before adding chicken and stirring it all together, then threading it onto metal skewers. I thought this was incredibly enterprising for a student barbecue and helped her grab the ingredients from the cupboards and weigh them out.

Honey Orange & White Wine Chicken Skewers on a plate with oranges, micro herbs

When ready the chicken was one of the best I have ever tasted, sweet and salty, slightly sticky from the honey and smoky from the barbecue with a bite of Tabasco. Every bite was imbued with this delicious marinade. Everyone said how nice the chicken kebabs were but this was something that I had never tasted before and I didn’t want to not taste it again, I wanted to have this chicken at my barbecues. She said her family always made it and it came from an old cookbook they had somewhere, mostly they made it from memory but she had a few notes written down from her mother. She gave me her scribbled version of the recipe and I treasured it, taking it home. It wasn’t long before I tested the recipe out myself and I was delighted that it tasted exactly the same.

Honey Orange & White Wine Chicken Skewers on a plate with oranges, micro herbs

Now this recipe comes out at all of our family barbecues. The chicken always receives delightful comments and no wonder as it’s the best marinade recipe I have up my sleeve. I am always happy to pass it on, as thanks to the kindness of an old friend, it is why I have it in the first place.

I no longer keep in touch with the friend who gave me this recipe for no reason other than our lives grew apart in the maelstrom of graduating university, moving flats several times and early career struggles. It makes me sad that our friendship fell by the wayside but now every time I have a barbecue and I am pouring the wine, honey and orange juice into my own mixing bowl, reading her scribbled handwriting and weighing out my ingredients I think of her.

Honey Orange & White Wine Chicken Skewers on a plate with oranges, microherbs next to a bowl of marinade and a jar of honey

SHOP THE RECIPE >>> Coconut Aminos

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I urge you to give these Honey Orange & White Wine Chicken Skewers a try. If you do then please leave a comment below and give the recipe a rating which helps others find the recipe on Google. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own culinary creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

Honey Orange & White Wine Chicken Skewers

These Honey Orange & White Wine Chicken Skewers are an easy addition to your summer grilling. The fruity sweet and salty marinade is practically drinkable and takes moments to prepare.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Total Time1 hr 18 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: British
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 409kcal

Ingredients

  • 1.5 kg chicken breasts cut into strips, about 6
  • 90 g honey
  • 90 ml coconut aminos / tamari or gluten-free soy sauce
  • 280 ml white wine
  • 280 ml orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic granules
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

Instructions

  • Whisk together all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl, add the chicken strips then leave for at least 1 hour to marinate.
  • Whilst your chicken is marinating soak your skewers (if you are using wooden ones) in a bowl of water to stop from burning on the grill.
  • Thread the chicken strips onto the wooden skewers before placing on a hot grill. Grill for 3-4 minutes on each side before removing and serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 409kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 53g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 160mg | Sodium: 641mg | Potassium: 1072mg | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 330IU | Vitamin C: 26.6mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1.3mg

This recipe is updated from a 2014 post with new photos and a recipe with clearer instructions and updated to gluten-free.

Chicken Fajita Wild Rice Soup

Chicken Fajita Wild Rice Soup is the perfect mid-week dinner. Packed with flavour, fresh, comforting and fully satisfying.

I love it when a quick midweek meal suddenly reveals itself to be an absolute stunner out of nowhere. When I’m slamming ingredients left and right into a saucepan, keen to get dinner on the table in under twenty minutes then I can’t always be bothered to taste here, adjust for seasoning there. The salt and pepper get tossed into the pot mercilessly so it’s anyone’s guess on whether I have got the balance right until we’re tucking in on the sofa.

I think it adds to the excitement of dinner time; will I have got a bit heavy handed with the cumin again? Or perhaps a little under handed with the chilli? Almost certainly. Once the first few bites are underway Luke usually has to get back up to get something, salt, tabasco, sriracha; usually salt. I am obstinate that I got it right first time so will rarely return to the kitchen, oh yes and I’m lazy.

So when I got everything bang on last Wednesday we were all pretty shocked. I was perhaps a little offended that Luke felt the need to repeat more than once how actually this was a really delicious dinner and I felt he really hammed up the yummy noises. I pride myself on being a bit of a cook it so happens and this didn’t particularly fill me with confidence about my usual offerings. I begrudgingly agreed though, this Chicken Fajjita and Wild Rice Soup one was definitely a keeper and as I was on a roll I made it the next couple of nights for good measure, but I didn’t get such resounding applause the second or third times and the yummy noises definitely receeded. Spoilsport.

I do not underestimate the foundation of a really good stock in this (or any) soup and I hit the motherload when I found the last of the ham stock lurking at the back of the freezer from Christmas. However, if you can only get your hands on some supermarket standby or a stock cube then the smoky triumvirate of chipotle, smoked garlic powder and sweet paprika will mean you don’t miss out too much.

The beauty of this soup was that I basically just made chicken fajitas, frying off a load of onions, peppers and smoky spiced chicken then added stock and a mix of basmati and wild rice. Really the whole thing was a charmed idea from the off. However I will not lie to you, this soup is pretty much all about the toppings and I think it’s important to load your finished soup up with all the good stuff you would normally put on your fajitas. Let that bowl overflow my friend, there is no judgement here.

We are looking for textures and flavours in our toppings and since my fridge is always stocked with coriander, avocado, limes and sour cream, as I crave fajitas often, there was no question that they would insist on getting involved. As luck would have it I am having a bit of a moment with pumpkin seeds so they got shovelled on top and it turned out they added a much needed crunch to the proceedings. Salty sharp feta also turned out to be perfection since it is a pretty good substitution for proper authentic Mexican cheese and it just so happened I got some in this week. If not, cheddar would have sufficed.

I feel like the whole dinner was kismet but even if you don’t have any of the ingredients to hand at all then I urge you to put them on your next shopping list as this soup is so good that it’s definitely worth planning for.

Chicken Fajita Wild Rice Soup

A flavour packed soup, fresh, comforting and fully satisfying.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 308kcal

Ingredients

  • 450 g chicken breast cubed
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle in adobo
  • 1 teaspoon smoked garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion sliced finely
  • ½ red pepper sliced finely
  • ½ yellow pepper sliced finely
  • ½ green pepper sliced finely
  • 100 g sweetcorn kernals
  • Juice of ½ orange
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 200 g wild and basmati rice mix cooked
  • Optional Toppings: crumbled feta,sour cream, sliced avocado, pumpkin seeds, fresh coriander

Instructions

  • Combine the chipotle, garlic powder, paprika, cumin and coriander together then rub into the cubed chicken. Set aside whilst you get the soup started.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large wide bottomed saucepan then when hot add the onion and peppers and gently fry for about 15 minutes until softened and just starting to catch.
  • Add the chicken and the sweetcorn and mix in.
  • Pour over the orange juice, lime juice and the stock and bring everything back up the boil. Once it’s there, turn down to simmer for about 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Stir in the cooked rice then divide between the bowls, topping up with as many accoutrements as your bowls can handle.

Nutrition

Calories: 308kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 151mg | Potassium: 638mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 960IU | Vitamin C: 63mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1.1mg

Roast Chicken and Feta Salad with Minted Yoghurt Dressing

Chicken and Feta Salad with Minted Yoghurt Dressing

This salad was borne from a desire to use up leftover roast chicken but was such a treat that I made a huge batch of it again the next day, this time roasting up a couple of chicken breasts especially for the event.

Now, I’m not one for do-ahead salads. For starters I don’t like cold salads, they need to be brought up to room temperature first so by the time you’ve decided you’re hungry you might as well have knocked it together there and then rather than twiddling your fingers for half an hour whilst the chill is knocked off your lunch.

Pre-dressed salads are also usually a problem, as heavy dressings render delicate leaves a soggy mulch, or worse if there’s garlic involved create a pungency to the whole affair which detracts from the light bright flavours you began with. My Chicken and Feta Salad with Minted Yoghurt encountered no such issues though and after having made a fair amount to last for a few days I popped it, dressing and all, into the fridge until I was ready to eat it over the next few days.

Chicken and Feta Salad with Minted Yoghurt Dressing

This salad holds no leaves to wilt or garlic to intoxify so the fresh flavours are kept intact. In fact, they are improved upon as the feta simply soaks up flavour so over the next couple of days it took on more depth from the lemon and mint. There is also no oil in the dressing so there is no chance of the dressing weighing down the other ingredients.

Okay, so I did have to take my salad out of the fridge for a bit so the flavours could re-ignite in room temperature but after about 15 minutes of impatience I dove in and found I hadn’t lost anything in its preservation.

Chicken and Feta Salad with Minted Yoghurt Dressing

Now you must be fussy when gathering ingredients for this salad, not only should you insist upon the best tomatoes you can find and of course organic free-range chicken, bone intact and skin on so it retains moisture during its roasting, but this salad also benefits hugely from the inclusion of extremely good feta. Supermarket feta is so hit and miss, more often than not a bit dry and crumbly and until you’ve overdosed on the good stuff in Greece you may not even know how much you like it. I am lucky though to be within spitting distance of Ally Pally farmers’ market on a Sunday where there is an excellent producer eager to offload his wonderful olives, pickled garlic and sundried tomato antipasti. It’s his feta that is the star of the show though, tangy, dense and sublimely creamy, although you have to get to the market early as he always sells out.

Chicken and Feta Salad with Minted Yoghurt Dressing

Roast Chicken and Feta Salad with Minted Yoghurt Dressing

Serves 2

2 chicken breasts on the bone
2 teaspoons olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
150g cucumber, halved and de-seeded
200g tomato, roughly chopped
3 celery sticks, sliced thinly
½ red onion, halved and sliced thinly
120g feta

For the dressing:
1 tablespoon yoghurt
2 teaspoons mayonnaise
good handful of fresh mint leaves, diced finely
juice of ½ lemon
1/8 teaspoon salt
pepper

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Mix the olive oil and lemon juice with some seasoning then rub all over the chicken breasts.
  3. Place in a roasting tray and roast in the oven for 40 minutes, basting halfway through.
  4. Remove the chicken from the oven and leave to rest whilst you prepare the rest of the salad.
  5. Toss the cucumber, tomatoes, celery and red onion in a large bowl and crumble over the feta.
  6. In a separate small bowl whisk together all your dressing ingredients and pour most of it evenly over the salad.
  7. Toss it all together and heap into bowls.
  8. Remove the chicken from the bone, then slice and serve over the salad, drizzling over a final bit of dressing.